'Early to bed, early to rise
makes a man
healthy, wealthy and wise.'
- Benjamin Franklin
'Early to rise, early to bed
makes a man healthy, wealthy and dead.'
writer James Thurber
Greetings, hootoo-ers! This week we're celebrating National Health Education Week, an event
held each year to let us know what lousy shape we're in. This year's theme is Every Step Counts, so
you can bet your sweet bippy that we're going to be talking about exercise. Excited? I know I
Obesity and physical inactivity account for more than 300,000 deaths in the United States each
year, according to the National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. This
sounds alarming until you think about the millions of deaths attributable to not waking up in the
morning. Clearly sleep is much more hazardous to your health than pizza and a six pack in front of
the TV every night, so the smart money is on taking it easy. Eat enough sugar and you probably
won't even need to sleep. Stock up on Marshmallow Peeps, which
are nothing but sugar and dye. Pure unadulterated energy, they are! Even better, you no longer
have to wait for Easter to get your Peep fix - the producer now cooks up Peeps for all the major
holidays. I've spotted Hallowe'en Peeps at the local grocery store. Woo hoo!
Where was I? Oh, right - exercise. Say, quizzical, you may be saying right now, how do I know
if I could benefit from getting more exercise? Here's a little test put together by the Association
of People Who Look Better Than You Do to see whether you should get your rear in gear. Count the
number of items that apply to you:
- You're too fat.
- You eat too much.
- You sit around too much.
- You're ugly.
- And your little dog, too.
- Nya, nya, nya.
Does this sound like you? If so, says the Association, you too could benefit from a program of
regular exercise and, by the way, buy my New! and Improved! Yoga-Pilates-Hip Hop-Kickboxing Video for just 29.99 USD,
tax title and license extra, and for a limited time only during our special holiday promotion purchase
my book Don't Hate Me Because I'm Obnoxiously Beautiful (True Secrets of a Supermodel)
for just 5.99 USD offer void where prohibited not available to employees of Eat My
Shortstm Products or curious members of the legal profession.
Personally, I say that if you checked one or more boxes, you sound like a normal human being and
good for you. Why on earth should we all look like Hollywood 'stars'? Biodiversity is a good thing,
according to Mother Nature, and I never argue with her.
It isn't just the Plastic People who are trying to convince us we're falling apart. In the US
various government agencies are issuing tense pronouncements to the effect that we'd better shape
up or we'll be so unhealthy that they'll have to get serious and do something about The Health Care
Issue.1 Of course politicians are models of
healthful living. Don't believe me? Just take a look at the table2 below to see how much exercise
your average politician gets in the course of the day.
|Going off half cocked.||250|
|Jumping to conclusions.||400|
|Beating around the bush3.||350|
|Evading the facts.||450|
|Dodging the consequences.||500|
|Passing the buck (or other currency).||225|
|Pandering, posturing, and pontificating.||300|
|Weaselling and waffling.||450|
'If you laid all the politicians end to end, you
would not form
a line long enough to reach a decision
(but you would have a really
effective speed bump).'
OK, you're not a politician and you still want to work more exercise into your busy day. How do
you go about it? Here are some fitness tips for you:
- Invent the 26-hour day. If that doesn't work, eat LOTS of sugar to turbo charge your engines.
You may not have more time than the rest of us, but you'll cram a lot more activity into the time
- Fidget. Did you know that people who fidget burn a few hundred more calories per day than
calmer souls? ('S true.)
- Leave your car at home and walk to work or school. Pretend you've been dropped behind enemy
lines and make your way to the office under hostile fire. (A vivid fantasy life is a joy
- Chase squirrels - they're such smug little beggars.
- If swimming is such great exercise, explain whales.
- Need more vegetables? Add another olive to your martini.
The Fine Print
James Thurber (1894 - 1961) is known as much for his cartoons as for his writing, although he
appears not to have been one for athletics. Many of his cartoons featured dogs, which he regarded
as 'sound creatures' in a crazy world. Thurber's birthplace - now called Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio, USA - is a literary centre for writers and folks who
like to read.
The Finer Print
Don't listen to anything I say.
and most of us don't have health insurance.2Putting information
in a table makes it scientific and, therefore, true.3Or possibly the Cheney.